Jose Miguel Ortez-Herrera booking photo

By Shereen Siewert

A 41-year-old Marathon County man accused of trying to strangle and stab a woman on Christmas will not face charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, but is now charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, among other charges, court records show.

Jose Miguel Ortez-Herrera, of Abbotsford, appeared Dec. 27 in Marathon County Circuit Court for a probable cause hearing in the case. Formal charges were filed Jan. 10 against Ortez-Herrera, who is from Nicaragua and previously worked in law enforcement.

The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department responded to the alleged attack, which happened in Stratford. Sheriff’s officials say Ortez-Herrera was “very aggressive” toward the alleged victim, a woman who was able to escape and drive herself to a local emergency room.

In addition to the reckless endangerment charge, Ortez-Herrera faces charges of attempted strangulation and suffocation, battery and criminal damage to property in connection with the case.

In December, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser set bond at $25,000, the first $5,000 of which must be paid in cash. He remained behind bars as of Monday afternoon.

Future court dates have not yet been set.